2021.4: For our advanced users ❤️

Survived April fools day? I assure you, this April release is no joke!

This release is dedicated to our more advanced user base, as it is packed with
some really advanced features and enhancements our more experienced users will
love. Ready to debug your automations? Yeah…

Not that advanced of a user? I’m sure there is something in here for you to
look forward to as well.

Oh, by the way, have you heard the news of ESPHome joining the Home Assistant
family? If not, you should definitely read the blog post announcing it!

Enjoy the release!


Database upgrades, please be patient

This release contains database migrations, meaning that the format of how your
history is stored is changing. This migration is automatically performed after
upgrading and takes a bit of time. The time it takes depends on how much history
you have stored and how fast your system is.

Please be patient when upgrading to this release.

Automation debugging

Wait, why didn’t that light turn on? Why isn’t the thermostat adjusted?
Why is this automation not working? What is going on here?! This is a haunted

Sounds familiar? I’m sure we all had these moments, but are you ready for this?
We can now debug automations!

Screenshot showing the automation trace of a previously ran automation
Screenshot showing the automation trace of a previously ran automation.

The above screenshot shows a previous run of an automation. The automation
is displayed using an interactive graph, which highlights which path the
automation took. Each node in the graph can be clicked to view the details on
what happened with the automation during that specific step. It traces the
complete run of an automation run.

If an automation didn’t run as it should, this will allow you to debug and
understand why it ran the way it did.

This extremely advanced and super useful feature is thanks to the hard work
@emontnemery who build the backend for this. The beautiful graphing was
made by @thomasloven, and all the frontend work by @balloob & @bramkragten.
Marvelous job guys! Thanks!

Additionally, a special thanks to all the (beta) testers that helped testing
this feature and those who provided trace samples that helped to squash bugs!

Got questions about this feature? Want to see it in action? Be sure to tune in
to the 2021.4 release party stream later today!

Home Assistant Analytics

Now don’t be scared by the title!

Today we introduce: Home Assistant Analytics. Opt-in, privacy-aware, public
and open source. Just as it all should be for our project.

@ludeeus did a fantastic job writing this new integration. You decide if you
turn it on or not; however, we guarantee its privacy-aware. Doubt it? Review it!
Everything is open source!

Not open enough for you? We are publishing the result for everybody to see:

Screenshot of the Home Assistant Analytics website
Screenshot of the Home Assistant Analytics website.

Well, maybe you want to view the public result yourself:


So why do we do this? Well, it helps the project and all contributors to
see things like: Most used integrations. This can significantly help with
improving project priorities. It also helps to convince manufacturers to work
with Home Assistant, add local control and privacy-focused features.

“But the updater did this already, right?” Yes, well, the updater has actually
been broken. So while we had some data, it was barely usable (actually not
useable at all). Instead of fixing the updater, we now have a better solution
that better matches our project goals. The updater still exists; it now just
does one single thing: showing if an update is available.

Want to help the project out? Please enable Home Assistant Analytics. We
would be very grateful!

You can find the settings in the general configuration options,
or click the My Home Assistant button below to go directly to it. (Only visible to owner users)

Screenshot of the Home Assistant Analytics options
Screenshot of the Home Assistant Analytics options, you control the amount of
data you share.

For more information on how this all works and what data is shared,
check out our documentation.

Thanks for sharing already! ❤️

Warnings for undefined variables in Templates

This feature is really cool. While technically a small improvement, it is a
change that can impact you (as in “breaking”), but also, will greatly help you!

So imaging this little template: {{ my_variable }}

Previously, if my_variable would not exist in the template or system as a
variable, Home Assistant would just ignore it and skip over it.

While this can be convenient, it can become problematic when it was misspelled
or referring to a variable that doesn’t exist at all. For example, if you
would have mistyped it: {{ my_varaible }}, you would
never know something is wrong, unless you spotted it.

As of today, Home Assistant will tell you this, using a warning in the logs!

Screenshot of undefined variable warning log
Screenshot of undefined variable warning log.

This helps to find templates that behave unexpectedly because the variable
you thought was there, isn’t. It is quite possible you get a bunch
of warnings after upgrading to this release. Fixing those warnings, really helps
to improve your setup.

So, what if a variable isn’t always there, but I still want to use it? Well,
you can give it a default, for example:
{{ my_variable | default }}. Or even an default value
(10 in this example): {{ my_variable | default(10) }}.

Please note that these are just warnings for now. We plan to replace the warning
with an error as of Home Assistant 2021.10 (in October).

Filtering automations, scripts and scenes

Categorizing automations, is definitely one of the most requested
things in our history. This became clear again during last year’s month of what
the heck and various issues/discussions/feature requests.

Suggestions for labels, folders, and many more have been created. However,
we already have some great categorizing features in Home Assistant itself:

Devices, Areas & Entities.

Screenshot of filtering automations by the living room area
Screenshot of filtering automations by living room area.

As of today, you can filter your automations, scripts and scenes by area,
device or entity. For automations and scripts, it goes one step further; it
magically finds those that affect the area, device or entity being filtered.

So, you can now look at the automations affecting your living room area
(even if those automations itself are not in the living room area) and also
filter the automation list with just the ones that touch your thermostat.

Z-Wave JS update

So before we talk about The nice new things in Z-Wave JS, there are breaking
changes in this release for the Z-Wave JS integration that could affect your
existing automations. Be sure to read the
breaking changes
section for more info.

Alright, now the fun stuff! You can now configure each Z-Wave device straight
from within Home Assistant. When you view a device in the Home Assistant
frontend, you can click on “CONFIGURE DEVICE” button that is shown on each
device page. This allows you to manage and adjust device (node) specific
configuration parameters for the selected device.

Screenshot of configuring a Z-Wave device from within Home Assistant
Screenshot of configuring a Z-Wave device from within Home Assistant.

Furthermore two new, advanced, services are introduced:

Trigger-based template sensors

This release adds initial support for a pretty advanced new, helpful feature.
Template sensors, that are updated based on triggers and the data that comes
with it.

Whenever the trigger fires, the template sensor will re-render and it will
have access to the trigger data in the templates. This feature is a great way
to create data based on webhook data, or have sensors be updated based on a
time schedule.

See, for example, these two template sensors that update based on a single
webhook trigger using data pushed into the webhook:

# Example configuration entry
  - trigger:
      - platform: webhook
        webhook_id: my-super-secret-webhook-id
      - name: "Webhook Temperature"
        state: "{{ trigger.json.temperature }}"
      - name: "Webhook Humidity"
        state: "{{ trigger.json.humidity }}"

You can test this trigger entity with the following CURL command:

curl --header "Content-Type: application/json" 
  --request POST 
  --data '{"temperature": 5, "humidity": 34}' 

It is not just webhooks! Any trigger that you can use in automations, can be
used to update these types of template sensors.

For this release, it only works for sensors; other platforms are not supported yet.

Please note: that these new template sensors are configured under the template:
key in the configuration and is using a new configuration format and keys.
For more information,
see the documentation.

UI selectors for script fields

You can now use UI Selectors for you scripts field parameters. This
brings the same UI capabilities that Blueprint have to scripts. This allow for
creating advanced scripts that you can later easily reuse in your UI
(even in UI automation).

Screenshot of scripts using selects in its fields
Screenshot of scripts using selects in its fields.

For more details on these new field configuration options, see the
scripts documentation

Other noteworthy changes

There is much more juice in this release; here are some of the other
noteworthy changes this release:

Screenshot of selecting the number format you prefer in your profile
Screenshot of selecting the number format you prefer.

  • @marvin-w added support for unique IDs to KNX entities. So, as a KNX user
    you can now tweak your entities in the frontend and group them into areas!
  • HomeKit now supports CO/CO2 device classes, thanks to @iMicknl!
  • @robertdelpeut added monthly and yearly totals to the DMSR sensor, thanks!
  • Hyperion users can now hide certain effects from the UI using integration
    options. Thanks, @dermotduffy!
  • Got that one message in your logs that you don’t care about? @jshufro
    added support for filtering log messages using regular expression!
  • The Plex integration now provides library count sensors! These
    are disabled by default by can be enabled if you like that. Thanks, @jjlawren.
  • The Quickbar had an update from @donkawechico! So press those C & E keys
    on you keyboard to see those beautiful new labels.

New Integrations

We welcome the following new integrations this release:

New Platforms

The following integration got support for a new platform:

Integrations now available to set up from the UI

The following integrations are now available via the Home Assistant UI:

If you need help…

…don’t hesitate to use our very active forums or join us for a little chat.

Experiencing issues introduced by this release? Please report them in our issue tracker. Make sure to fill in all fields of the issue template.

Breaking Changes

Below is a listing of the breaking change for this release, per subject or
integration. Click on one of those to read more about the breaking change
for that specific item.

Core / Custom integrations

Farewell to the following

The following integrations are no longer available as of this release:

All changes

Click to see all changes!

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